How to Combat Stress and the 2L Law School Slump – Top Ten Suggestions

A 2L's Top Ten Suggestions on How to Combat Stress and the Law School SlumpPlease welcome back our 2L guest writer Shirlene Armstrong! She discusses the 2L perspective on combatting stress and the inevitable law school slump.

You are an overstressed, overworked law student. You have worked hard in order to get into law school and now you are in the middle of your legal journey with the work continuing to come with no end in sight. You’re slowly losing steam, and it is beginning to affect your social, work, and school life. You are in the middle of your “law school slump.” This is a period of time when a law student has been in school long enough to become comfortable but not long enough to see the graduation finish line in sight. This time is plagued with procrastination, apathy, and longing for freedom. However, there is a way to combat this slump and help you push through to the end of law school. Here are my ten suggestions on how to get out of the grind and back into a better mindset:

1. Sleep

Sleep is the most important thing for a law student. Without energy, you can’t do much. You will constantly be tired and overworked, adding to your usual stress. Do yourself a favor and go to bed early or take a nap.

2. Take a Break (Or Vacation)

Sometimes the best way to combat stress is to take a break or even a vacation. You need to take time to relax and de-stress. This will allow your brain to reboot so that you can come back feeling refreshed and focused.

3. Re-evaluate

Sometimes the best way out of a slump is to take a step back and re-evaluate your position. Think about what your goals are, where you want to go, and why are you doing it. If you still aren’t happy with something then it’s time for a change.

4. Exercise

A great way to combat stress and lack of motivation is to focus your energy on something else. Exercise is a great way to focus on a physical activity (like yoga or running) and put yourself in your own thoughts. This will give you time to address what is going on, prioritize your tasks, and make a plan of action.

5. Think about the End-goal

While focused on the day-to-day menial tasks, it is sometimes difficult to remember where you are going. This is law school in a nutshell. You get busy with classes and casebooks, you forget what the end goal is: becoming a lawyer. Try reminding yourself of why you are in law school and putting yourself through the stress – having a goal to meet will make it much easier to focus.

6. Change your Study Habits

Sometimes a change of pace is what you need. You may need to alter your study habits. Finding a new way of preparing for classes/exams will make studying feel like a new adventure.

7. Try a new Hobby/Club

A new change of pace could also be a socially based need. Start a new hobby or club in order to shake up your normal routine while also taking you away from studying.

8. Make Little Goals

The issue may be that you are overwhelmed by the large goal of finishing law school and passing the bar. In order to motivate yourself to get back on track, set little goals for yourself. By accomplishing these goals, you will feel more successful and motivated.

9. Form a Study Group

Friends and support groups will also help you be successful. Your fellow law students know what you are going through and will help encourage you to keep going.

10. Take Time to do the Things you like to do

Most importantly, don’t let law school ruin your life. You still need to make time to do the things you want to do, have fun, and see your loved ones. Spend time doing the things that make you happy to help you focus on studying later.

The law school slump does not need to last forever. You can push through and get over the hill of your journey. It is easy to lose sight of the end goal when you are in the middle of law school. You become lost in the day to day challenges, classes, and homework. However, you can get through it and you can get back on the track of success! Although your journey isn’t over yet, you are doing great and you can achieve your dreams; law school will be over before you know it!


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About Shirlene Brown

Shirlene Armstrong is a first-generation student in her last year at Wayne State University Law School in Detroit, Michigan. At Wayne, Shirlene has been involved with numerous organizations and clubs, including mock trial, LexisNexis, the Women's Law Caucus, and the Journal of Law and Society. Shirlene enjoys mentoring others and sharing what she has learned on her legal journey and continues to work hard in accomplishing her dreams.

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